Free entry to National Museum during 50-day archaeology convention

Tue, 2017-11-07 22:07

RIYADH: Entry to the National Museum at the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center in Riyadh, which is hosting a number of events and programs including exhibitions accompanying the first Saudi Archaeology Convention that began Tuesday, will be free to visitors.

“Prince Sultan bin Salman, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), has directed authorities to cancel the entry fee to the National Museum for 50 days from the opening day of the archaeology convention,” the SCTH media department said Tuesday.

“With this free entry, the SCTH president has made it possible for people to visit the exhibitions accompanying the convention being held at the National Museum that will last for next 50 days,” it added.

The National Museum, besides a number of major events, activities and workshops, is hosting exhibitions including the famous “Roads of Arabia” exhibition, which has to date been organized in 11 internationally famed museums in Europe, America, China and South Korea, and enjoying the wide attention of world media.

Other exhibitions at the National Museum include the recovered antiquities exhibition; the recent archaeological discoveries exhibition; an exhibition reflecting Saudi kings’ care of Kingdom’s antiquities and national heritage, which will be held in partnership with the King Abdul Aziz Research Center (Darah); a photo exhibition on the restoration of Al-Hejaz railway station in Madinah in partnership with Al-Turath Foundation; the Saudi Geological Survey exhibition; a commemorative stamps exhibition; the historic photos exhibition; the pioneers of archaeology in the Kingdom exhibition; archaeology specialized books; a handicraft exhibition; and a fine arts exhibition.

These specialized exhibitions will remain open for visitors for 50 days along with a gala display of cultural, social and tourism events, competitions and artistic shows in the courtyard of the National Museum.

There will also be educational plays on antiquities and excavations, in addition to various folk shows, and a display of several full-length models representing major Saudi archaeological and heritage sites, and handicraft shows.

In conjunction with the convention, a number of programs accompanying the forum will be organized including a range of activities reflecting the cultural heritage of the Kingdom.

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Ambassador launches Saudi wing at London travel fair

Tue, 2017-11-07 20:25

LONDON: Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, on Tuesday opened the Kingdom’s pavilion at the World Travel Market 2017 (WTM) in London with the participation of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and other government and private entities.

This came in the presence of several officials from the participating delegations and the cultural attaché in the United Kingdom, Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Maqshi, the commercial attaché, Bandar Rida, and guests of the opening ceremony.

Bin Nawaf visited the Kingdom’s pavilion where he was briefed on the fair and the participating pavilions including pictures and video presentations on tourism, archaeology and heritage in the Kingdom.

He noted the participation of the SCTH and other governmental and private sectors. “This confirms the consolidation of bridges of communication in the international platforms and the keenness to introduce the historical and cultural depth of the Kingdom and its cultural, heritage and tourism diversity,” he said.

The vice president of marketing and programs at the SCTH, Abdullah bin Abdul-Malik Al-Murshid, said the Kingdom’s participation in the World Travel Market enhances the Kingdom’s global presence in this exhibition.

“It is an opportunity to emphasize the importance of tourism and national heritage as an economic industry. The participation is an opportunity to attract tourism investments from international markets, as well as enabling Saudi companies to participate in the development of their services and products,” he said.

The deputy chairman of the SCTH for support, Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh, said that the Kingdom’s share of tourism will witness great growth as this comes “in conjunction with the launch of a series of initiatives including tourist visas, which are expected to be launched after completion of arrangements with the appropriate authorities.”

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Arbab Al-Heraf: A cafe for art lovers

Tue, 2017-11-07 18:00

JEDDAH: Arbab Al-Heraf Cafe is a place for art connoisseurs to gather and share their passion for art.

It is like a literary club that welcomes all ideas and innovations.

“Arbab Al-Heraf” is an Arabic phrase that signifies those who excel at doing things and mastering crafts, both artistically and philosophically. This cafe is full of good vibes.

The shop does not occupy a large space, but it harbors many activities inside its walls: Music, singing, and loads of antiques.

Resembling the Akkad Salon in Egypt, Arbab Al-Heraf gives the outlook of a museum that combines Western and Oriental items.

Every Thursday, visitors gather to enjoy musical performances by locals who play various musical instruments. The cafe is visited by many who are interested in fine arts while enjoying a cup of coffee. The cafe also holds workshops related to art drawing and music.

Arbab Al-Heraf is located In Jeddah’s Al-Salamah district on Al-Yamamah Street. The café is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. except on Sundays.

The founder of the cafe, Abdulla Al-Hudaif, told Arab News about his education and how the idea for the cafe emerged from his passion toward art.

“The idea was there since I was a child; I was only six-years-old when I began to assemble old things in our house. I had a small warehouse where I collected paintings. When I was 16, my warehouse was filled with a collection of old items.” Al-Hudaif said.

Al-Hudaif graduated from the department of finance at King Saud University, then went to get a master’s degree in global business administration in Australia, where he used to attend Gold Coast events and gained knowledge on how to lead people through art.

“After my return to the Kingdom, I discovered the historical area in old Jeddah, and I long meditated on its beauty,” he said. “Many of my colleagues told me that I have a sense of beauty and art and suggested to turn my thoughts into reality.”

Although the city of Jeddah is filled with a number of cafes of different sorts, the ambiance of the place is similar to the famous cultural cafe in Egypt known as “Al-Akkad Cultural Cafe” — where intellectuals meet every day. The intimate atmosphere in this cafe cannot be found in any other place. Wooden chairs and sofas combine the warmth of a house with the scent of heritage.

“The cafe witnessed days without any visitors. Later on, I decided to announce the existence of workshops that interest younger generations and people started to visit the place more and more. We started to participate in local events. Hopefully, we will continue to grow.” said Al-Hudaif.

Day after day, the reputation of the cafe started to spread among Jeddawis and consequently, it gained wide media coverage.

“From our schedule for the next week, we will start using the top floor as a gallery to showcase international films aimed at offering a different taste,” he told Arab News. We are trying to compete, we are racing a young age.”

Youssif Al-Sawwaf, one of the cafe’s visitors told Arab News: “It is rare to find a place that combines workshops and coffee in Saudi Arabia. The founder welcomes everyone and is creating a new environment for new talent.”

Saja Al-Hummaiany, a psychology student at Effat University told Arab News. “Arbab Al-Heraf is where we can share our thoughts and enjoy music.”

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Pedestrians stop thief, return SR186,000

Author: ARAB NEWSTue, 2017-11-07 19:12ID: 1510094488619736800JEDDAH: While a Saudi citizen was in a shop, a man stole a sum of SR186,000 ($49,593) from him and took off in a car.The robbed man asked pedestrians for help, and another citizen t…

GCC, Belgium to cooperate in combating extremism, terrorism

Tue, 2017-11-07 21:51

RIYADH: A visiting Belgian delegation held talks with senior officials from the Kingdom and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretariat on combating terrorism and extremism.
Dirk Achten, vice-minister and secretary-general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, the head of a nine-member team visiting the capital, held talks on Monday with Abdel Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg, assistant secretary-general for political and negotiations affairs at the GCC.
Belgian Ambassador Geert Criel also participated in the meetings with GCC and other Saudi officials.
The meeting held at the Secretariat General of the GCC was co-chaired by Aluwaisheg and the visiting Belgian minister.
During the meeting, the two parties reviewed relations between the two sides and discussed the latest developments in the region. They also discussed ways of combating terrorism and extremism, in addition to the efforts made by the two parties in this direction.
Speaking to Arab News following the meeting, Aluwaisheg said: “During the meeting with Achten, we discussed modalities for GCC-Belgian cooperation in all fields — political, economic and people-to-people. We then focused on combating terrorism and extremism. We agreed to cooperate on countering radicalization, terrorist recruitment and messaging, as well tracking and disrupting terrorism financing.”
“We will be developing exact mechanisms for such engagement over the next weeks,” Aluwaisheg concluded.
Ambassador Criel told Arab News that the vice minister had a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a number of officials, discussing bilateral issues of mutual concerns and regional questions.
The envoy said that the visit was more concentrated on combating extremism since Belgium is already cooperating with the Kingdom in the fight against terrorism. The delegation wanted to exchange experiences in the field of combating extremism and wants to learn from the Kingdom’s experiences, Criel added.
He added: “We discussed cooperation in the field in the fight against terrorism and extremism with the officials of the Ministry of Interior and the GCC secretariat. We also visited the Prince Mohamed bin Naif Center for Counseling and Care, where we had very useful and instructive discussions.”
The Mohamed bin Naif Center for Counseling and Care is fully dedicated to a society that is marked by moderation in both thoughts and behavior. Being envisioned to protect community against immoderate thoughts, the center conducts scientific and practical correctional rehabilitation programs to reform youths that fell victim to such thoughts.

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Bangladeshi expat commits suicide in Jeddah

Author: ARAB NEWSTue, 2017-11-07 19:35ID: 1510094488559736600JEDDAH: The Public Prosecution in Jeddah is investigating the suicide of a Bangladeshi expat in his 50s, who took his life in his home in Al-Rehab district, in Jeddah.The National C…

Saudi Arabia offers investment opportunities to Russian companies

Wed, 2017-11-08 03:00

RIYADH: As part of Saudi Vision 2030’s aim to diversify economic sources, the Kingdom has offered Russian companies the opportunity to set up “strategic partnerships in the industrial sector.”
The state-owned Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), which has set up 35 world-class industrial cities across the Kingdom, revealed the plans for Russian collaboration here on Tuesday.
A statement from MODON, following a meeting with various Russian businessmen at its offices, said that Russian Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Vasily Osmakov had met with the National Industrial Clusters Development Program and MODON to discuss “the need for continued and increased coordination and cooperation between the Kingdom and Russia in all industrial sectors, especially mining.”
The statement said that Osmakov took the chance to highlight the role that Russian expertise could play in “the creation of integrated and transformational value-added industries that are globally competitive.”
MODON said the Russian minister and his accompanying delegation were briefed on investment opportunities in MODON’s industrial cities, as well as the various benefits that MODON provides to industrialists, such as incubators and ready-built factories, as well as economic advantages and attractive incentives.
The statement said that the authority’s plans to collaborate with Russian companies comes as “a continuation of the trade and investment talks between the Kingdom and Russia, which began in the Russian capital Moscow, during the visit of King Salman to Moscow last October.”
In another statement released to Arab News, Khalid Al-Salem, director general of MODON, explained that the authority has streamlined the period for issuing building permits in industrial cities from three days down to one day, which he claimed would encourage more investors and entrepreneurs to locate their businesses there.
Al-Salem said that MODON’s e-portal has made the process simple, fast, and cost-effective, as well as transparent. The e-portal can be used by investors for land allocation in industrial cities, renewal and transfer of contracts, approval of drawings and more.
Investment in MODON’s 35 industrial cities across the Kingdom had exceeded SR500 billion at the end of last year. There are more than 3,000 factories and over 6,000 industrial, service and logistics entities operating in the cities, with over 528,000 people employed.

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US ‘will not turn blind eye’ as Iran supplies missiles

Wed, 2017-11-08 05:00

JEDDAH: The US accused Iran on Tuesday of breaking international law by supplying ballistic missiles fired at Saudi Arabia, and said the US would “not turn a blind eye to these serious violations.”
“By providing these types of weapons to the Houthi militias in Yemen, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is violating two UN resolutions simultaneously,” said Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN.
“We encourage the UN and international partners to take the necessary action to hold the Iranian regime accountable.”
Iran supplied missiles fired at Makkah in July, and most recently at Riyadh last Saturday. Both were launched from Yemen. The Houthis boasted on Tuesday that they had ballistic missiles with a range of 1,500km and threatened to attack more cities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Col. Aziz Rashed, an army spokesman with a Houthi-allied unit, warned travelers to stay away from Saudi and UAE airports. “All airports, ports, border crossings and areas of any importance to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be a direct target of our weapons,” a Houthi spokesman told reporters in Sanaa, according to The Associated Press.
Haley has accused Iran in the past of illegal arms deals and military support in Yemen, Lebanon and Syria, and has repeatedly called on the UN Security Council to take a tougher stance.
Under the UN Security Council resolution that enshrines the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Tehran is prohibited from supplying, selling or transferring weapons outside the country unless approved in advance by the Security Council.
A separate UN resolution on Yemen bans the supply of weapons to militia chief Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, two Houthi commanders, Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, his son, and “those acting on their behalf or at their direction.”
Washington’s options now are to ask the Security Council’s 15-member Yemen sanctions committee to blacklist individuals or groups, or to seek a new Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on Iran. The latter is likely to be vetoed by Russia, according to a Reuters report.
In a phone conversation on Monday night, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that the involvement of the Iranian regime in supplying Houthi militias with missiles “is considered a direct military aggression by the Iranian regime and may be considered an act of war against the Kingdom.”
Johnson condemned the missile launch against Riyadh last Saturday and the deliberate targeting of civilians, and said Britain stood with Saudi Arabia in confronting security threats.
The missile launch was “most likely a war crime,” Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday, and was carried out by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said. “It was an Iranian missile launched by Hezbollah from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen,” Al-Jubeir said in an interview with CNN on Monday.
In the US, Pentagon spokesman Marine Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway said Saudi Arabia had exposed Iran’s “malign role in Yemen” and its provision of dangerous missile systems to Houthi militants. “We continue to maintain strong defense ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and work together on common security priorities to include combat operations against violent extremist organizations, and neutralizing Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East region,” he said.
In Riyadh, Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak condemned the missile attack on the city. “This attack constitutes a serious escalation in the conflict and poses a growing risk to regional stability and security,” he said in a written statement to Arab News.
“The intentional targeting of civilians cannot be tolerated and Canada calls on the Houthi rebels and their supporters to refrain from such indiscriminate attacks against civilians in both Yemen and Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Oubai Shahbandar, a Syrian-American analyst and fellow at the New America Foundation’s International Security Program, said: “It is clear that the leadership in Tehran is shipping more advanced missiles to Houthi militias with the specific aim of targeting major Saudi cities, such as Riyadh.
“Iran is already banned from proliferating advanced missiles to regional terrorist organizations like Lebanese Hezbollah, but they continue to move these deadly weapon systems which are ultimately used as a terror weapon to target civilians. The Houthi militias are copying Hezbollah’s playbook. The only real solution is to neutralize the problem at its source — the missile shipping and manufacturing centers in Iran.”
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani “care little about UN Security Council Resolutions where they can count on the Russian veto,” Shahbandar said.
“The only language they truly understand is that of power and deterrence. They must be made to believe that they have crossed a red line and that any further strategic missile strikes will be met with a crippling response.”

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Saudi Cabinet acclaims royal order to form anti-corruption committee

Wed, 2017-11-08 03:00

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday appreciated the royal order to form a supreme committee chaired by the crown prince to identify violations, crimes, individuals and entities involved in public corruption cases.
The Cabinet stressed that royal order emanates from the king’s responsibility toward the homeland and citizens and his consideration of the risks of corruption and its bad effects on the state at political, social, economic and security levels.
The weekly meeting was chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.
The king began the session by briefing attendees on the outcome of his talks with US President Donald Trump; Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi; Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe; Italy Premier Paolo Gentiloni; Lebanon Premier Saad Al-Hariri; and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
The Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad said that the Cabinet renewed the Kingdom’s condemnation of the launching of a ballistic missile by Houthi armed militias from Yemeni territories on the capital Riyadh to target populated civilian areas.
The Cabinet stressed that this hostile and indiscriminate action proved Iranian involvement in supporting Houthi armed groups with qualitative capabilities in defiance of the UN resolution 2216. It is considered as an open aggression targeting neighboring countries and international peace and security in the region and the world, and it affirms the Kingdom’s right to legitimate defense of its territory and people under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
Ministers dealt with the World Bank Group’s report on the Kingdom’s unprecedented progress in indicators of the ease of doing business after implementing many reforms and procedures that have improved the business and investment environment, as well as investor confidence.
The report also referred to the Kingdom’s ranking among the top 20 reformist countries in the world, and its position of second among the best high-income countries and G-20 countries in terms of implementing reforms to improve the business environment.
The Cabinet also pointed out the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of a UN committee report that the UN had presented $14 million to the so-called Yemeni Ministry of Education, an affiliate of Houthi militias which are planting thousands of mines inside Yemen and on the Saudi border. It asked for reconsideration of the report submitted to the committee to reflect the facts that had been ignored and the commitment of all UN organs to the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2216, stressing that UN support for Houthi militias was unjustifiable or unacceptable.
Ministers expressed their condemnation of the recent truck-ramming accident in New York, the suicide bombing in Kabul and the two suicide attacks in Kirkuk, Iraq, which resulted in a number of victims and injuries. It expressed its condolences to the families of the victims, the US administration and people in addition to the governments and peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom’s firm stance rejecting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and the importance of international efforts to confront and eradicate it.

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